I’m back, but where did I go? Not far. I’ve been out of the detecting loop for months, but not of my own choosing. This hobby is
great awesome, but at times the obsession comes with limitations. I knew that at some point the mild pain in my elbow and forearm after a long day swinging a heavy machine might become a problem. It was the reason I experimented with new, lightweight machines like the Deus and the simplex. I tried each for a while with much success, but no matter how hard I tried, in the end, I always went back to my old faithful E-trac.
I should have tried harder, because at the Best O’ North East hunt in NH this past October, I ended up with a bad case of Tennis Elbow, which was brought on by this problem I have called TMD (Too Much Detecting). My arm was pretty sore before I got to the hunt, but I ignored it. I was in NH for a week of all things metal detecting, to heck with the pain. It wasn’t the greatest of decisions, but live and learn—and I learned afterwards that it really sucks not to be able to swing a machine for months.
My arm finally started to feel better around the beginning of February, and I was excited to get back out there, but then I found out I needed surgery, not for the elbow, but surgery nonetheless.
I have a fear of doctors, but not the actual doctor. It’s a fear of going to the doctor, because every time I go, I find out I need surgery for whatever I’ve ended up in the office for. I’d had 9 surgeries already in my life. Most were odds and ends to fix or repair some defect, that thankfully modern medicine had a cure for, but still, for obvious reasons I avoid the doctor. Sometimes though, it gets to the point where you can’t ignore it anymore. Such was the case this time around.
For the past few years, I noticed my stomach area slowly becoming larger and larger. I tried diets, diet pills, Zumba, and became obsessed with core exercises, trying to lose it. But, while other parts of me (occasionally) got smaller, my stomach just got bigger. I was perplexed. Then someone suggested it was part of aging, and that as our bodies age, the weight gets distributed differently. I thought about the figures of some of the older women I knew, and it seemed like a rational explanation. So I gave up on the fruitless exercise, and began practicing acceptance, focusing on finding clothing that would play down my stomach area (like tunics & girdles).
Naturally when I stopped exercising I gained weight, but at least now the rest of me looked more in proportion to my mid section. Sad and a bit funny, but true.
When I finally went to the doctor he concluded I had a large mass in my abdomen that needed to be removed, um… I could have told him that. He said the recovery would be 6-8 weeks. My immediate thoughts were WTF? 6-8 weeks? Does this dude know I have to get back to detecting?! I was upset, but it was what it was, health trumps all, and I knew this too would pass.
So I went under the knife again. It was a pretty invasive procedure, and 8 weeks turned out to be a good number for recovery—but I’m happy to say I’m on the mend. I finally got the doctors okay to resume exercising, and just in time for the new hunting season! I attended a club hunt in Windsor, CT last weekend, and it was tough. I was tired as heck, and sore afterwards, but I did find a few buttons, a rosette, and a broken arrowhead. It was good enough for me though. I was just thrilled to be back out there, and happy I’ll have something to write about again.
I did my first 8 hour day of detecting Saturday at an abandoned Boy Scout camp and came home with 8 pieces of silver for my efforts. Not a bad return, seeing as I’ve been out of the loop for so long. I really felt I deserved those coins, and was happy the detecting gods seemed to be back on my side again.
I also hit on one of the largest clad spills in my detecting career. I pulled out a Rosie, and when I rechecked the hole, it was ridiculous, I stopped counting at 25 coins, and they just kept coming. I spent a good twenty minutes picking coins (mostly pennies) out of a one foot area, because you never know, there could have been another silver in there. Sadly, there was no more silver, but I found more later on.
After so much time laying in bed, I’ve got a lot of work to do this season to get back in shape, but at this point I’m just excited to be back to a sense of normal. Mentally and physically.
The past 6 months was definitely a learning experience, and to sum it up—Can I live without detecting? Yes. Do I want to live without it? NO.
I’m just hoping the arm holds out now.
Comments on “Getting Back into the Swing”
Glad to see you back in the field and on the mend. Take it slow and Happy Hunting Allyson!
Thanks Dick. Participating definitely helps when it comes to writing about the hobby.
Trust me I’m thinking about packing it in…
I’m really sorry to know you’ve been ‘Tom and Dick’. Hope you are on the mend. I moved to the Deus owing to an elbow problem and though that’s improved have stayed with it. Though not as good as knocking out bottle caps on the beach (my playground) as the ATPro, it’s so easy and light to use. I recently had dental problems…the dentist put wisdom teeth IN!
Stay safe and well.
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